Via War and Piece: According to this GovExec story, John McCain's amendment requiring that all detainees be treated in accordance with the Army Field Manual is scheduled for a vote tonight. The text of the amendment (scroll about halfway down) is:
"At the end of subtitle G of title X, add the following:
SEC. 1073. UNIFORM STANDARDS FOR THE INTERROGATION OF PERSONS UNDER THE DETENTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.
(a) LIMITATION ON INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--No person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.
(2) APPLICABILITY.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to with respect to any person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense pursuant to a criminal law or immigration law of the United States.
(3) CONSTRUCTION.--Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the rights under the United States Constitution of any person in the custody or under the physical jurisdiction of the United States."
Remember Captain Ian Fishback, about whom von posted yesterday, who spent seventeen months trying without success to get an explanation of what was and was not allowed under our detention policies in Iraq. He said:
"I listened to the congressional hearings and when the Secretary of Defense testified that we followed the spirit of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan and the letter of the Geneva Conventions in Iraq… that went against everything that I [understood about US policy]. That’s when I had a problem.
The first concern when this originally happened was loyalty to the Constitution and separation of powers, and combined with that is the honor code: "I will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do." The fact that it was systematic, and that the chain of command knew about it was so obvious to me that [until that point] I didn’t even consider the fact that other factors might be at play, so that’s why I approached my chain of command about it right off the bat and said, "Hey, we’re lying right now. We need to be completely honest."
Congress should have oversight of treatment of prisoners. That is the way; the Army should not take it upon itself to determine what is acceptable for America to do in regards to treatment of prisoners. That’s a value… that’s more than just a military decision, that’s a values decision, and therefore Congress needs to know about it, and therefore the American people need to have an honest representation of what’s going on presented to them so that they can have a say in that.""
If you support McCain's amendment, write to your Senators and ask them to vote for it. This is our chance to do what we can be the country Captain Fishback thought he lived in, and to be worthy of his service.